236 suspicious betting alerts reported by IBIA in 2021

27th January 2022 10:24 am GMT

The latest annual report from the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) reveals that there were 236 reported cases of suspicious betting activity in 2021, with football at a record high of 66 alerts. 

The annual figure marks a 13% reduction on the 270 cases reported in 2020 and cover 13 sports in 49 different countries, with tennis and football continuing to dominate suspicious activity. Europe continued to generate the highest number of alerts at 50 per cent of the annual total.

“Another challenging year for the sector has passed with the spectre of Covid and its impact on sporting events declining, and hopefully a potential endgame in sight,” said IBIA chief executive Khalid Ali. “It is therefore welcomed that the alerts for 2021 showed a downward trend and a return to pre-Covid numbers. Challenges however persist, notably with the growth of private sports events and establishing integrity protocols to the levels seen in traditional sports bodies. The association is working with a number of stakeholders in this area to improve integrity provisions.”

Member operators flag suspicious activity to IBIA who then review the information and potentially raise an activity report to the sports governing body as well as a relevant regulators.

Europe accounted for half of the alerts in 2021 at 118, with 27 coming from Russia, the most recorded for a single country. Asia had 43 alerts, Africa 18, South America 17, and 10 from North America.

As a result of the IBIA alerts 11 sporting or criminal sanctions were issued in 2021.

“The dangers of betting corruption remain, and as the Optimum Betting Market report published last year highlighted, that equates to around $25m per annum in lost revenue for the regulated betting sector globally," continued Ali. "It is therefore welcome that the requirement for operators to be part of an integrity monitoring system have gathered pace across the US, and have been endorsed in Sweden, to add to existing requirements in the Netherlands, Germany and the Czech Republic.

"The approach in Ontario is particularly worthy of attention and is a best practice model. The association looks forward to working with a wider range of operators on integrity as a result.”  

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